Amidst the delighted reactions by netizens and in real life, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) are now looking for the two young anglers who managed to reel in a massive bass…. right next to the Merlion statue in Marina Bay.
A clip of their caper went viral on social media yesterday, depicting two youths — one holding on to a fishing rod — being elated at catching the big fish straight from the Singapore River on the steps of the Merlion Park. Right beside them, the iconic statue of the Merlion. Offscreen, folks at the popular tourist attraction can be heard cheering for the lads.
PUB isn’t feeling the same fervor for the two boys, because fishing along Marina Bay district is, you know, illegal. Currently, fishing is only permitted at 15 designated reservoirs, canals and rivers across the country, and the waters off Marina Bay is definitely off limits for anglers. In a comment posted about the video, the national water agency is now looking for the two individuals involved in the case.
Folks, however, are siding with the kids on this one.
The giant fish has been identified as a peacock bass, a predatory freshwater fish native to the Amazon basin, and a relatively common catch here. In a New York Times report from back in ’09, the peacock bass is the best game in town for Singaporean fishers, and the species were stocked into local rivers by an unknown individual. According to a person who recounted to The Straits Times last year about catching a peacock bass, the fish tasted bad when cooked with sambal. The more you know.